A child is the epitome of happiness. The hope of being able to hold your child, being able to hear his or her laughter, being able to comfort him or her while they cries, erases all the discomfort of pregnancy and the pain of childbirth.
But then children start growing up, fast and you want to hold on to every single moment of their innocent childhood.
But sometimes, one small statement takes all the bliss away – “Your child has a heart condition.” Sadly, across the world, the doctors have to say the same statement for one out of a hundred children. Heart defects in children are the most common of all congenital issues.
Heart issues in children are not only congenital, they can be acquired later in life. Some heart issues can be genetic or viral as well. Let’s explore the various kinds of heart defects in children.
Overview of the Heart: The human heart has four chambers. Two atria on top and two ventricles at the bottom. A wall, called septum, separates the left and right sides. Blood flows in and out of the chambers through four valves. Blood vessels called arteries and capillaries bring oxygen to the heart.
A hole in the heart might mean a hole in the walls of the chamber or major blood vessels. In the heart, oxygenated blood and blood without oxygen stay separated. If there is a hole in any section of the heart, the two types of blood may get mixed. This is result in an overall lower supply of blood in the body. This is one of the serious heart defects in children.
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is very serious heart issue causing heart defects in children. In HLHS, a baby is born with an underdeveloped heart. Although there are surgical procedures to treat it, most children do not live to see adulthood. It is hypothesised that there is a genetic component which leads to HLHS.
The valves in the heart have very thin membrane through which blood flows very fast. Valves might cause issues if they are not formed correctly or are odd shaped or are sealed. Needless to say it causes heart defects in children.
Obstructed blood flow:
If the valves in the heart are narrow, the heart muscles have to work harder to pump blood. This will stiffen the heart muscles gradually and might lead to a heart attack.
Abnormal blood vessels:
The heart pumps blood all over the body. Naturally, it has the most important blood vessels. If any of these blood vessels are misplaced, get intertwined or are not developed correctly, there will be various heart defects in children.
Viruses that cause respiratory illnesses may also, in rare cases, affect the heart. This can be a serious issue since the symptoms might be misread as symptoms of the flu or other respiratory diseases. Such an infection is called myocarditis and can be treated with medicine; but proper and early diagnosis is important.
Don’t feel doomed yet. Most of the heart diseases are curable. Sure, some require a surgery while others can be treated with medicine. Some of the non-curable ones are also not fatal – many heart issues can be kept under control by adopting a certain lifestyle.
[You might be interested in this : Food to Keep Your Children’s Heart Healthy]
So, hold your chin up, talk to the doctor and help your child sail across the challenge with ease!
About the hospital
Ankura Hospitals is a chain of super-specialty Metarnity Hospital in Hyderabad. Set up in the year 2011 in KPHB, near Hitech Railway Station, the Ankura Hospitals family has today spread its wings to Secunderabad, Khammam and Vijayawada.